In Luke, chapter 14, we learn about how we can become Jesus’s disciples. He described three different attributes of this type of person and those three things are… #1, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) #2, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27) #3, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) And so we have what Jesus expects out of each of His disciples laid out before us. But which one of you are doing these three things? I ask this since every believer desires to be saved. Now, by becoming Jesus’s disciple, this helps us know for a fact that we are saved and His mercy is upon us. So let’s look into these verses some more and determine where we with God in what he expects of us. The #1 thing here reads as “hate”, but it means something so much different than that. What we really learn here is the point of pointing everything in our lives second to God, including yourself. So we obey the Lord Jesus even when it goes against what people are saying, including your family members and spouse. They may not like this stance you are taking, but nonetheless, we would rather be inline with God and His teachings at all times in our lives and not man. So again, we hate the very thought of loving people in our family or our friends more than God. Doing this makes us His disciple, but loving other people more than God, makes Him feel that He does not matter as much. People have taken this out of context in saying that we are to literally hate our family, including our spouse, but this is so wrong. We are told to love one another, not to hate anyone. So again, Jesus is telling us to put Him first in our lives, and only then can we truly be called His disciples. There is so much to discuss in this one verse, and I pray that you learned something new today.
The #2 thing that Jesus mentions, when it comes to becoming His disciple, is about us bearing our own individual cross, and coming after Jesus. All this means is that we have things that come up in our lives that can be very hard to bear. These trials and tribulations can come at a cost to our faith, but as Jesus said, we continue to put our trust in Him. Though we may suffer through sickness, financial issues, a death in the family, and persecution, we come to Jesus with all our burdens, that He may bear them for us. When we suffer, we never have to suffer alone, for Jesus sees us carrying our cross and loves us so much as to help us through it. The same can be when we are tempted and feel like it is too hard to resist. We bring this also at the foot of the cross, that Jesus may give us the strength to overcome the enemy. Jesus said, “come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) And lastly, #3, it refers to us forsaking everything for Christ’s sake. So does this mean giving up our house, our cars, and everything else we own in life? No. It means to give up things in our lives that are keeping us from following Jesus. These things can be addictions and bad habits that God does not approve of. Only by letting these things go and turning to God, can a person become Jesus’s disciple. So addiction to pornography needs to go. Having sex outside of marriage needs to stop. Going to the bars and getting drunk needs to stop. Doing illegal drugs, including smoking, needs to be put to an end. These things cause us to lose the salt in our lives. “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?” (Luke 14:35) Only Jesus can help tear what is wicked out of our lives. So come to Christ and never put Him second again. This means bearing your cross and continuing to follow the Lord Jesus, no matter what the cost is in life.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that we will go all-in when it comes to our faith. So many people are willing to do this when it comes to their job, but giving You there all often never happens. Again, I ask why people are so willing to do all that their boss asks of them in order to get a paycheck, but when doing the same thing for You, God, unto salvation, they cannot do the same. It seems to me that people have put things ahead of You in their lives. That studying up and doing things for their job is more important. Wow! I cannot believe how backward people’s faith has become in this world we live in. All You ask is for genuine faith out of people, but instead, they come to You in faith that is artificial and has no substance to it. Sure, people can open the Bible and worship You at church, but where does this same devotion go after leaving the church doors? And now that we are in a time where pastors are doing church via zoom, people are missing the church broadcast and justifying this as well. They may say that the time escaped them one week until the next week comes and it is forgotten altogether. Lord, how is it that people cannot find time for You when other things like their job, their phone, TV, and other things they seem to find time for? This makes no sense to me and leads me to believe as You said, God, that only a few people are saved. I can see it now that only a few people are actually Your disciple also. For who has put You first in their lives and hated the fact of putting anything ahead of You. Only a few people do this. And who is bearing their cross, while continuing to come to You in their trials? Again, this may be more people, but still very few. And lastly, I wonder who has decided to leave every false way, including willful sins, for Your sake? I know how important becoming Your disciple is, but I am afraid that people in our society have lost touch with what this means. So Lord, convict people of their sins today. Help them know how far they have strayed, that they may be drawn back to You in all their confessions. I believe in You. I love You. Amen.